• Sunday, March 03, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Thursday

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu congratulated Nigeria’s national team for their triumph over South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the 2024 CAF African Cup of Nations Semi-Final.

The Super Eagles clinched a 4-2 victory in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regular and extra time.

Tinubu praised their achievement on Twitter and urged them to excel in the final. Nigeria seeks its fourth AFCON title, having won in 1980, 1994, and 2013.

Nigeria’s cashless transactions surged to N611.06 trillion in 2023, marking a 54.55 percent increase from the previous year, reports the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

NIBSS Instant Payments, introduced in 2011, facilitated this growth by providing real-time interbank transfers.

Electronic payment channels were used 11.05 billion times, up by 75.96 percent.

Notably, December saw the highest transaction value of N71.9 trillion, reflecting increased reliance on e-payment during festive periods.

NIBSS processed 9.7 billion transactions, a 90 percent rise from 2022.

The Senate Gas Committee has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Finance Minister Wale Edun, demanding details on the N100 billion awarded to companies for the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas projects.

Lawmakers expressed concern over plans to release an additional N130 billion without National Assembly approval, citing breaches of the Public Procurement Act.

The committee seeks transparency amid accusations of fund mismanagement and a lack of progress in project execution. Edun is urged to provide comprehensive records promptly.

Minister Heineken Lokpobiri cautioned oil marketers against fraudulent practices like meter adjustments and under-dispensing, urging transparency and collaboration for Nigeria’s energy sector advancement.

He stressed the downstream sector’s importance and lauded marketers’ commitment to serving Nigerians’ interests.

Lokpobiri emphasised the need for equitable opportunities and mutually beneficial partnerships, affirming government efforts to create a conducive business environment and ensure energy accessibility nationwide.

Mediators from the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt scrambled to forge a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in their four-month-old war in the Gaza Strip after America’s top diplomat on a Middle East mission said there was still hope for a deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he saw room for negotiation, and a Palestinian Hamas delegation led by senior official Khalil Al-Hayya was due to travel on Thursday to Cairo for ceasefire talks with Egypt and Qatar. (Reuters)